YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The 21st-ranked Youngstown State football team put together a complete team effort and knocked off Missouri State, 47-7, on Hall of Fame and Veterans Appreciation Day on Saturday at Stambaugh Stadium.
The Penguins improve to 5-4 overall and 3-3 in the Missouri Valley Football Conference while the Bears fall to 1-8 overall and 0-5 in the MVFC.
The Penguins racked up 644 yards of total offense, including 338 yards on the ground, and were an impressive 13-of-17 on third-down conversions. It marks the second time in three weeks the Penguins accumulated more than 500 total yards. YSU had 501 against Southern Illinois on Oct. 24.
The YSU defense did not allow Missouri State a first down and gave up just 11 total yards in the first quarter. The Bears did not pick a first down until the first play of the second quarter. Overall, the Penguins stingy defense had two interceptions, allowed just 107 total yards and just four first downs.
Martin Ruiz became seventh YSU running back to eclipse 3,000 career rushing yards with 3,083 after rushing for 100 yards on 18 carries. It was his second 100-yard effort of the year. Jody Webb also ran for 107 yards on 12 carries and a touchdown. The last time YSU had two 100-yard rushers in the same game was against South Dakota in 2014 when Ruiz ran for 185 and Webb had 128.
Andrew Williams caught four passes for 100 yards and a 72-yard touchdown reception. He is now tied for fifth all-time with 15 touchdown receptions and moved into second place all-time with 2,336 career receiving yards.
Zak Kennedy made a pair of field goals and tied the YSU single-season record with 17. The last player to make 17 field goals in a season was Mark Griffith in 1999.
Hunter Wells completed 15-of-25 passing attempts for 241 yards and three touchdowns. Wells now has 27 career touchdown passes.
The Penguins scored on their first four possessions of the first quarter – a 20-yard field goal by Kennedy, two touchdown passes by Wells and a three-yard touchdown run by Ruiz – to jump out to a 24-0 lead.
On the opening drive of the game, the Guins went 58 yards and settled for a 20-yard field goal from Kennedy to take a 3-0 lead.
After the defense forced a punt, Wells hit Willams on a six-yard touchdown pass to take a 10-0 lead with 6:34 left in the first quarter.
The Penguins extended their lead to 17-0 when Wells hit Stubbs on a 10-yard touchdown pass with 3:03 left in the first to cap an eight-play, 50-yard drive.
Ruiz rambled in from three-yards out to give the Penguins a 24-0 lead with just 17 seconds left in the first. Ruiz’s score was set up by a 62-yard run by Webb to the Missouri State seven.
On their first possession of the second quarter, the Penguins march 97 yards in six plays and Wells hit Williams on a 72-yard touchdown pass to go ahead 31-0 at the 8:53 mark.
Following an interception by Jaylin Kelly, the Penguins marched 52 yards in nine plays and extended their lead to 38-0 on a Ricky Davis one-yard plunge with 6:05 left in the second quarter.
Missouri State got on the board just before the half when Brodie Lambert hit Zac Hoover on a 10-yard scoring strike with 42 seconds left before the half. Tre Betts intercepted Wells and returned it to the YSU 21 to set up the score.
On their first possession of the third quarter, the Penguins went 76 yards in 11 plays and Webb scampered in from five yards out to give YSU a 44-7 lead.
Kennedy’s record-tying field was a 43-yarder with six seconds left in the third quarter and gave the Penguins a 40-point lead, 47-7.
The Penguins host North Dakota State, Saturday, Nov. 14, at 2 p.m. at Stambaugh Stadium.
COURTESY: YSU SPORTS INFORMATION